For more than half a century, the specter of a hostile, enigmatic and threatening North Korea has loomed large on the US. policymakers' horizon. A nation of only 22 million with a GDP of $21.8 billion and a negative three percent growth rate, it is smaller than the state of Mississippi. Yet North Korea consumes the world's attention far out of proportion to its size and truncated economic power. For the United States in particular, it is Thomas Jefferson's wolf, an issue no policy maker wants to take by the ears, yet once grasped, cannot be let go. North Korea has forced itself onto the world stage with an attack on South Korea, a one million man army, nuclear weapons research, and a long range missile development program. Powerful communist allies and a belligerent attitude ensured it received disproportionate attention. While this provided sufficient impetus for U.S. concern, a sudden change in the geopolitical landscape argues for more immediate results. Despite a variety of strategic approaches to North Korea, U.S. policy there has been a marked failure. Its large and powerful army remains prepared to attack and it possesses a long range missile system with the capability to deliver nuclear payloads it now claims to have. Far from incorporating itself into the family of civilized nations, North Korea has thumbed its nose at international efforts to inspect its nuclear facilities or to provide basic human rights for its own citizens. Policies of containment, confrontation or isolation have not achieved success. The way for ward may be defined as much by what not to do as by positive analysis. As a potential solution, this paper outlines a redefinition of our national interests as regards North Korea along with a new strategy of engagement designed to better understand her, normalize bilateral relations and permanently secure peace and stability slowly opening North Korea to the west.